Man Utd are among two clubs to have lodged an offer for a striker who’ll solve Erik ten Hag’s problems, and a report claims the Red Devils are ‘likely’ to win the race.
Replacing Cristiano Ronaldo is the primary focus in the market at Old Trafford this month. Ten Hag can call on Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to lead the line, although an injury to either could devastate their season.
Injuries will be common place in the second half of the campaign too with the fixture list more congested than ever thanks to the mid-season World Cup. With the battle for the top four shaping up to be a fierce one, it’s not just Man Utd who are scouring the market this month.
Once Cody Gakpo was snapped up by Liverpool, Joao Felix appeared a fine option on paper for United. Atletico are open to loaning the Portugal international out and a six-month deal would tie United over until the summer, at which point they’re expected to sign Ronaldo’s true replacement.
Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus is another intriguing option open to Ten Hag. However, the versatile frontman can only be signed outright in the January window and if United’s owners wouldn’t stump up the cash for Gakpo, it stands to reason they won’t for Kudus either.
Instead, TEAMtalk has been told Al Nassr’s Vincent Aboubakar is a genuine option. A short-term loan would share many similarities with the deal that brought Odion Ighalo to Manchester back in 2021.
The Mirror report Al Nassr – who are the club who just signed Ronaldo – can’t actually register the Portuguese icon at present.
The Saudi side are already at the limit on their quota of overseas players and as such, require an exit to make room.
Ronaldo moves tees up Man Utd signing
Aboubakar is the obvious choice given he plays in Ronaldo’s position. Now, Saudi outlet OKAZ talk up a move to Old Trafford in a big way.
Firstly, they claim Al Nassr have ‘reached an agreement’ with Aboubakar over loaning him out this month. In other words, they have determined he’s the man to make way for Ronaldo.
Two offers have reportedly been lodged, from Manchester United and Turkish club Fenerbahce.
It’s then noted Aboubakar is ‘likely’ to ‘leave for the English club’ who have reportedly made the most convincing offer. In their words, United will win the race due to the ‘strength of the show and the club’s desire to attract him’.
The Saudi outlet appears convinced the six-month loan move is destined to go through, and their claims have also been picked up by the Mirror.
What kind of player would Man Utd be landing?
The Cameroon striker, now 30, operated at roughly a goal every other game in tougher leagues during his stints with FC Porto (2014-20) and Besiktas (2016/17 – on loan) & 2020/21).
Aboubakar joined Al Nassr on a three-year deal in the summer of 2021. However, fast forward 18 months and Ronaldo’s arrival is forcing him out.
Aboubakar would appear very much to be a simple case of United adding depth. If Ten Hag’s forward line is given a clean bill of health, it’s unlikely he’ll ever be selected over Rashford and Martial in the games that matter most.
However, that’s not to say his arrival would be a meaningless one.
The Red Devils are competing in four competitions and the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League is where Ten Hag will choose to rotate.
It’s also important to note Ighalo’s loan arrival in 2021 was met with skepticism at the time, although he scored five crucial goals in the cup competitions and impressed enough to earn a permanent move at the season’s end.
If the Saudi reporting is accurate and Aboubakar is bound for Manchester, he’ll hope to have a similar impact to Ighalo.